MF Behind the Scenes
A Call to the Global Church to Bring Missions Back Into Our Worship
What is the chief purpose to which God has called the global Church? Why are we here and what are we to be doing? In this issue of MF we present more clearly than ever before our belief that God's eternal plan is to raise up worshipers to Himself from every tribe, tongue, people and nation to worship Him in all of their uniqueness (Rev. 5:9)
Most church leaders will agree that worshiping and glorifying God is the central purpose of the church, but few would link this central purpose with missions. Unfortunately, missions has often been relegated to secondary status on the same level as many other nice things like the youth fellowship retreat.
In this issue of Mission Frontiers we are calling the global church to a new vision for worship that includes God's ultimate desire that He be worshiped by all peoples. Missions must be re-integrated back into the central life and purpose of the church. It is wholly unbiblical for any church not to exalt missions as a normal part of being Christian and of the highest priority, second only to worship.
On page 9 we present John Piper's superbly biblical case for the essential relationship between worship and missions. As Piper says, "Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal of missions...Passion for God in worship precedes the offer of God in preaching. You can't commend what you don't cherish. Where passion for God is weak, zeal for missions will be weak. Churches that are not centered on the exaltation of the majesty and beauty of God will scarcely kindle a fervent desire to 'declare his glory among the nations' (Psalm 96:3). " The global church must change the way it thinks about worship and missions. The two are inexorably linked in the accomplishment of God's highest purpose for mankind. Worship and missions must be brought back together in our hearts, minds and theologies.
The breaking of this essential relationship has dishonored God by diminishing the quality of both our worship and our mission. This unbiblical separation has done incalculable damage to the cause of Christ worldwide--greatly slowing the progress of the Church into the unreached peoples.
In order for worship and missions to fulfill their intended roles in God's cosmic plan they must be exalted together as an inseparable unit. Now is the time to bring the big vision of who God is and what He intends to accomplish among the nations back into our worship services and into our hearts. Worship that ignores God's heart for the nations is incomplete and focused on a vision of God that is much too small.
We cannot worship God in all the fullness He deserves until we incorporate into our worship an understanding of the beauty and majesty of God and His plan for worship by all peoples. As Piper says, "All of history is moving toward one great goal, the white-hot worship of God and his Son among all the peoples of the earth." To ignore this monumental truth is to ignore God's will and to deny Him the glory and worship He deserves.
We are calling the global Church to catch this vision seen in Rev. 5:9, people from every tribe, tongue, people and nation worshiping Jesus. We have in this issue three articles on ethnomusicology which is the science of helping every people worship Jesus through their indigenous music. These articles start on page 13.
Although we focus most of our attention on music as a means of worship, most would agree that worship is so much more than just singing songs. Worship involves a passionate love for God whereby we make Him supreme in every area of our lives, including the drawing of others into this same joyful worship through missions.
For the sake of His glory among the nations let us lay aside the pursuit of worldly comforts and join His global cause. Let us bring missions back into our worship.